Former Ireland striker Robbie Keane will have to wait just a little longer to make his Indian Super League (ISL) debut, after a knee injury ruled him out of his new club ATK's first three fixtures, including the opener against Kerala Blasters in Kochi on November 17.
Keane, who signed for two-time champions ATK in August, had an MRI on his troubled left knee, and was forced to return home for treatment. As the club's marquee player, Keane was expected to be part of an ISL media event in Kolkata on Sunday, but his absence means ATK will now make some other player available.
"He has an injury to his left knee and has flown back home. He may be available for their fourth round match against Chennaiyin FC (on December 7)," an ISL official told PTI.
Keane, who is Ireland's all-time leading goal scorer (68 goals) and most capped player (146 appearances), has played for numerous clubs in the English Premier League, including Liverpool and Aston Villa. With 126 Premier League goals, he is ranked 13th on the all-time scorers list. Keane's last outing was with the Major League Soccer (MLS) team LA Galaxy, who he joined in 2011.
The injury will come as a blow to ATK's new coach and Keane's former team-mate Teddy Sheringham, who had earlier talked up the former Tottenham striker's "enthralling skills with the ball" and "willingness to take on the opposition" as huge assets for the upcoming season.